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Katherine Ahern

Katherine F. Ahern

Assistant Professor of English

B.A., Carnegie MellonM.F.A., George Mason UniversityPh. D., North Carolina State University


Kati’s research and teaching areas involve exploring how writing theory intersects with sound studies, materiality, and digital genres. She is especially concerned with “auditory rhetoric,” or how both nonverbal sounds (like screams and sirens) and verbal sounds (like speech and song) are used in rhetorical ways both online and “offline.” Her current research deals specifically with how writing theorists and composition and rhetoric scholars should address the study of auditory rhetoric in theory and pedagogical practice.


Auditory Rhetoric/Sound Studies, Material Rhetoric, Multimodal Composition


  • Author, “Tuning the Sonic Playing Field: Exploring the Ways of Knowing Sound in First Year Writing” accepted for publication in Computers and Composition. (forthcoming)

Selected Presentations

Presenter, "Tuning and Timing for Rhetoric(s) of Sound." Computers and Writing Conference, (2012)
Presenter, "Attending to Sound: How Do We Listen for Auditory Rhetoric in Composition?" College Composition and Communication Conference, (2012)
Presenter, "Listening to the Soundscape as an Embedded Sound Genre: Renegotiating Multimodality." College Composition and Communication Conference, (2011)
Presenter, "Using Audio-Recordings to Teach Voice in Fiction." Thomas R. Watson Conference, (2010)
Presenter, "Play it Again, Sam: The Rhetorical Dimension of Theme Songs in Political Campaigns." Rhetoric Society of America Conference, (2010)